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Freud, A. (1960). Discussion of Dr. John Bowlby's Paper. Psychoanal. St. Child, 15:53-62.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 15:53-62

Discussion of Dr. John Bowlby's Paper

Anna Freud

Dr. Bowlby's paper on "Grief and Mourning in Infancy" offers to analysts a number of controversial points for discussion, amplification or refutation. The following comments apply partly to the wider issues raised by his article, partly to those specific points in it where he makes direct reference to Dorothy Burlingham's and my account (1942) of the observations collected in the Hampstead Nurseries.


There is little difference in the observed material collected during the war by the Hampstead Nursery team with regard to separated children and the observations made later in connection with Dr. Bowlby's study of separation anxiety by a Tavistock Clinic team with regard to hospitalized children. Actually, James Robertson on whose observational studies Dr. Bowlby relies predominantly, was, and is, a valued and important member of both teams. With this identity of material, and partly of observers, in mind, explanation is needed not only why the theoretical interpretations of the data on our two sides are divergent but also why misunderstandings in the discussion of the divergencies are persistent.


Referring back also to Dr. Bowlby's earlier papers on "Separation Anxiety" (1960a), and "The Nature of the Child's Tie to His Mother" (1958), it becomes possible to point to a basic difference in orientation between his and our theoretical approach. Dr.

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